Karl (Saxony-Meiningen)

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August Friedrich Karl Wilhelm (born November 19, 1754 in Frankfurt am Main ; † July 21, 1782 in Sonneberg ) was Duke of Saxony-Meiningen during the Enlightenment .

Duke Karl of Saxe-Meiningen


Karl was a son of Duke Anton Ulrich von Sachsen-Meiningen and his wife Charlotte Amalie von Hessen-Philippsthal .

After the death of his father in 1763, his mother took over the reign of Saxony-Meiningen for him and his brother Georg I. Karl was carefully trained in the spirit of the Enlightenment and developed an early interest in science and art. Educational trips to Switzerland and France were included in his upbringing. In Frankfurt am Main, where Karl’s father lived, he had met Johann Wolfgang von Goethe , and both maintained personal contacts in the years that followed.

Having come of age in 1775, he acted as co-regent of his mother, where he had a mitigating effect on the financial situation of the deeply indebted country by restricting his courtship. He also made a contribution to general popular education in Sachsen-Meiningen. Karl was a member of the Freemason Lodge Charlotte zu den Drei Nelken , which founded one of the first teachers' seminars in Germany in 1776 under his leadership . Together with his brother, he began the representative renovation of the Meiningen residence .

In 1780 he married in Gedern Princess Louise (1764-1834), daughter of Prince Christian Carl Stolberg-Gedern , but with whom he had children. Two years later, the mother resigned from the reign and Karl ruled jointly with his brother George I until his death at the age of 28. He was succeeded as sole ruler by his brother Georg. Memorial stone lined with poplar trees on an island in the large pond of the English Garden in Meiningen (near the rear wall of the theater).


predecessor Office successor
Anton Ulrich Duke of Saxony-Meiningen
George I.